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Though Kaufman addresses a wide variety of subjects involved in a healthy and satisfying sex life, his treatment of each is seldom comprehensive; nor can his tone be described as anything but remote. The question-and-answer format is partly responsible, but Kaufman himself--a past medical director of Planned Parenthood--tends to sound as if he's lecturing from a podium. For example: ""The reactions of patients to midtrimester abortion are also variable, with relief again the predominant feeling."" Typically, such important topics as menstruation or homosexuality are disposed of in two or three pages (more space is devoted, however, to contraception and the effects of cardiovascular disorders on sexual activity). And while he concedes that, yes, men do get headaches too, Kaufman periodically slips backward into a kind of chauvinism: a chapter on ""Female Sexual Behavior"" begins ""Although sexual maladjustment in women is common. . . ."" (a corresponding section for men, however, plays down the stereotype of ""a woman-conquering sex machine"" because ""most men, like women, are sensitive, romantic, caring. . . and fearful""). A reference tool, then, of variable usefulness and somewhat dubious authority.

Pub Date: April 15th, 1981
Publisher: Macmillan